Tag: zines

Zine: Research on wabi sabi

“Western beauty is radiance, majesty, grandness and broadness. In comparison, Eastern beauty is desolateness. Humility. Hidden beauty.” So says kendo sensei Shozo Kato in a video by The Avant/Garde Diaries. “Desolateness” is used in the subtitles when the Japanese Kato actually uses is wabi-sabi  び.

In his book, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, Leonard Koren describes it as occupying “roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic [that is, the philosophy of beauty] values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.”

Originally, wabi’s main feeling was of loneliness. The Japanese have a knack for thinking up words that describe specific feelings, and this is one of them.

Sabi , on the other hand, is a bit simpler, It has been described as “chill,” “lean,” or “withered.”

“An active aesthetical appreciation of poverty … To be satisfied with a little hut, a room of two or three tatami mats, like the log cabin of Thoreau, and with a dish of vegetables picked in the neighboring fields, and perhaps to be listening to the pattering of a gentle spring rainfall.”

D. T. Suzuki

More than anything he stresses this philosophy is a deliberate choice. The samurai and wealthy merchants had the option to drape gold over everything (sometimes literally). But they chose to use simple tools and architecture instead.

R E S T R A I N T .

We can link it to the “Three Marks of Existence,” or sanbōin 三法印さんぼういん that are described in Buddhist teaching.

Roughly, they describe how all things have impermanence (mujō 無常むじょう), suffering (ku ), and emptiness, or absence of self ( くう). Buddhism tells us wisdom comes from making peace with these marks, as they are intrinsic to our natures, and wabi-sabi can be seen as a way of practicing this peace and acceptance.

  • Impermanence has probably the clearest link: one embraces the wear, tear, and sometimes damage that comes with age. One accepts an object will change as they use it.
  • Suffering too can be linked to damage, again in the acceptance that wear and damage is possible and likely as part of normal life.
  • Absence of self is the hardest, but I would argue we can find this in the appreciation of objects as a process or state, moving either from or towards nothingness.

Source: https://www.tofugu.com/japan/wabi-sabi/

Zine: Ideas and inspirations

For our zine project, I took inspiration from zines in terms of both layout and style. Here are some of the resource material that might come in useful later in the project.

Love the grunge texture and punk look of this zine — almost reminiscent of a woodblock print.

Simple and clean illustration for the cover page of a zine, with a contrasting and engaging color combination (red and black). Typography and art complement each other, forming a dynamic whole.

Greyscale cartoon illustration, with black outlines and simplistic forms, create a fun and edgy look.

I particularly like the diagonals used in this Japanese zine, i.e. the title banner, sub-heading and posture of the robot. The black, orange and yellow palette also add interest.

A zine that is parodying the concept of “models” in a superficial world. Simple azure blue background and the black and white halftone image feels like a Warhol silkscreen print; a Pop-art feel aimed at social commentary.

Symmetry across a centrefold is a fun way to portray the art concept. The color scheme also harken back to the early age of television — telecolor.

Celebrating Process: illustration as a practice that resonates with zine making

  • explore mixed media?

Simple Japanese styled illustrations can perhaps convey the idea of wabi sabo better?

Editorial illustrations focus on complementing the article with the appropriate artwork.